Information Management News
November 2011

A monthly e-newsletter from The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM)
JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD, CIDM Director

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CIDM News and Events

For a complete Calendar of Events, click on these links:




Other Events


The Content Management Strategies/DITA Europe Conference 2011 will be held November 7-8 in Prague, Czech Republic. For more information click here.

The CMS/DITA North America Conference 2012 will be held April 23-25 in La Jolla, California. For more information click here.

The Best Practices Conference 2012 will be held September 10-12 in Monterey, California. For more information click here.

Upcoming Workshops

Advanced DITA Training Including DITA 1.2
November 9-10, 2011
Prague, Czech Republic

The Advanced DITA workshop will provide attendees with a hands-on walk-through of the essential DITA fundamentals, programming skills, and DITA Open Toolkit configurations required to assemble, style, and publish DITA XML source.

Minimalism: Creating Information People Really Need
November 9-10, 2011
Prague, Czech Republic

Minimalism is the first step to creating user friendly content that is fully structured. It is designed for anyone faced with manuals that users complain are too big and too detailed—or that aren’t used at all.

DITA Boot Camp
December 5-9, 2011
Austin, TX

This workshop covers the concepts needed to move to DITA successfully. The Boot Camp takes you from the DITA Basics to the skills you’ll need to create a specific standard for your industry and your content.

Minimalism: Creating Information People Really Need
March 6-7, 2012
Natick, MA

Minimalism is the first step to creating user friendly content that is fully structured. It is designed for anyone faced with manuals that users complain are too big and too detailed—or that aren’t used at all.

Upcoming Webinars

Global Information Management Overview—Part 1

Sophie Hurst, SDL
November 8, 2011, 11am EST

Leveraging FrameMaker Server 10: How to automate publishing tasks/jobs, and publish your content to multiple channels and devices

Tom Aldous, Adobe Systems Incorporated
November 8, 2011, 1pm EST

Enhance your Help Systems and Documents with Simulations—Easily and Quickly!

Tom Aldous, Adobe Systems Incorporated & Joseph Ganci, Adobe Partner
November 10, 1pm EST

A Vision of Global Information Management at Hach—Part 2

Emily Mydlowski, Hach Company
November 15, 11am EST

Adobe FrameMaker and DITAToo—A Complete Solution for Your DITA Content

Tom Aldous, Adobe Systems Incorporated & Andy Lewis, iG5 Authoring Tools
November 22, 2011, 1pm EST

Click here for recorded webinars.


U.S. Medical Device “Total Cost of Content” Estimated at over $1 Billion

Allscripts Deploys the IXIASOFT DITA CMS to Streamline its Documentation Workflow

SDL Announces Product Content Maturity Model for Increased Online Customer Engagement

SDL Extends ‘Predictive Text’ Features and Language Capabilities for Global Technical Communication

Click here for more announcements.

Moving From A Proprietary XML Environment To DITA
JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

Previously published in October 2011

The information-development world embraced desktop publishing in the mid-1980s with great enthusiasm. Desktop publishing software and laser printers gave us the ability to make documents more readable and easier to navigate. We were able to bypass the costs of typesetting and still achieve some of the presentation quality that typesetting provided.

Read the article.

CMS/DITA NA Call for Speakers
The Center for Information-Development Management and Dr. JoAnn Hackos announce a call for participation in the upcoming CMS/DITA North America Conference to take place April 23-25, 2012, in La Jolla, California. If you are interested in presenting at the conference, please complete the form and submit to Lisa Lambert before December 14, 2011.

Crimson’s Research Memo Details Total Cost of Device Documentation
Omar Ford, Medical Device Daily
Reprinted from the Medical Device Daily

Fifteen years ago, Crimson Life Sciences’ (San Francisco) founder and CEO Marc Miller, was at a conference when one of the speakers mentioned the futility of medtech companies focusing on markets outside the U.S.

Read the article.

Tips for Finding the Best CMS for Single Sourcing
Suzanne Mescan, Vasont Systems
Reprinted with permission from Suzanne Mescan, Vasont Systems

When thinking about moving your content into a content management system (CMS), there are a few key principles to consider. The first principle is single sourcing. A CMS is a great place to store one copy of your content so that it can be shared with many users. By single sourcing your content, you eliminate all duplicate copies of the content and consolidate your content base down to one trusted source of content. Now, all users who access the content will always get the most current version, and older copies won’t be floating around anymore. In addition, single sourcing your content leads to higher quality documents since the content that is being reused across your publications is current and consistent.

Read the article.

The Death of Technical Publications As We Know It
or 9 Strategic Reasons To Move To Live Product Content

Howard Schwartz, SDL

The Internet and mobile channels are fundamentally changing how customers and prospects expect to find and engage with information related to a company’s products. Marketing organizations have already begun embracing these new mediums with personalized web experiences, video, and mobile apps. By contrast, technical documentation or “Information Development” organizations have been laggards in responding to these changing expectations of customers and prospects. In fact, the expectations of customers and prospects have changed so dramatically, the notion of the traditional “technical publication” has become obsolete. Hence, the title of this paper is “the death of technical documentation as we know it.”

Read the article.

Now for Sale:
Introduction to DITA—Second Edition

This new 2011 edition of the bestselling Introduction to DITAincludes DITA 1.2 mechanisms, including keyref, conkeyref, constraint mechanism, and more information to bring DITA users up to date. The tutorial lessons guide you step-by-step through the learning process from developing information topics and maps through content reuse mechanisms and modifying the DITA environment to better meet your needs.

Order your copy today!

bestpractices Click here to follow JoAnn Hackos on Twitter.

Join CIDM’s LinkedIn Group Today!

CIDM’s LinkedIn Group is growing exponentially! Join over 1,000 members today to take part in informative discussions about our industry.

Welcome New CIDM Member!

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Learn more about CIDM (Center for Information-Development Management) here.

bestpractices The Center for Information-Development Management unites the info dev community to share information on industry trends, best practices, and developments. Click here to follow CIDM on Twitter.

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bestpractices CIDM is calling for contributions to the bimonthly publication, Best Practices. Please contact our Editor, Lisa Larson, for more information.